Is Spring really in the air?

Is Spring really in the air?

Cranleigh Civic Society News

We have been working away, watching our housing and streets, flood areas and drains, and deteriorating ancient buildings.  We contact the authorities, make our voices heard, and talk to members and the public.  Your comments are welcome – please see bottom of this page.  Here are the issues that we are working on at the moment:

High Street

We are seeking people’s views about mending and improving Cranleigh High Street.  The paving varies: there’s tarmac, old York Stone, brick paving, grey slabs, beige concrete slabs,  grey setts.  We like the looks in Fountain Square and outside the Onslow pub but some people think tarmac is best.  What do you think?  Any other important points?   You might be interested to note that Surrey County Council is responsible for the pavements up to a centre line, from the road towards the shops.  The pavements from that centre line to the shops are the responsibility of the building owners, and are their land.  The owners/landlords are very difficult to contact or to persuade to work with others.  They are not the same people as the shop owners in many cases.


We are trying to find out how and when the flooding along our pavements and drains can be fixed as we all paddle across the roads. We believe it’s Surrey CC  and we have alerted our Councillor especially the flood outside Boots/Village Hall. 

Cranleigh Cottage Hospital

It is based on a 15th century cottage at the front and this part is no longer used.  It was used as a staff room and occasionally for patients and their families to be comforted until about 20 years ago.  Now it’s empty and damp, and falling into disrepair both inside and out.  We are actively working with NHS Property Services (and others) and they have pledged to carry out repairs and are undertaking a survey of needs for its future. This is all with the full knowledge and agreement of the League of Friends and Parish & Borough Councils.  It is a special building – a typical  Hall House when built – and preserves many very old features of historic interest. It has been modified over the centuries.  It was, as we are sure you know, the very first of over 200 Community and Cottage Hospitals in England. see here  

“Cottage and community hospitals have been part of the rural landscape for health care in England for over 150 years. The first cottage hospital was opened by Napper in 1859 in Cranleigh, Surrey. This was a simple converted cottage with space for beds and for operations. The service was established to save patients from long journeys to general hospitals in towns and cities, and to give local doctor surgeons a clean space in which to work with the support of a paid nurse.  The model was swiftly copied leading to the creation of 240 cottage hospitals within the next 30 years, all funded through donations and benefactors.”

Present day Cranleigh Village Hospital

As you know the NHS withdrew funding for beds many years ago. It’s fantastic that many parts of the buildings are in use and the number of services is growing. To find out which services are offered see here. The maternity hub is open all the time and a delightful midwife will greet those who enter.  There are, however, several rooms that are not in use to the rear of the old cottage.  We hope the NHS will make agreements with our local GPs to bring them back into use soon.  The original League of Friends of 1860s helped to fund raise for the Victorian extensions. The current League of Friends still gathers local donations and provides the NHS with equipment when they can – for which we are all very grateful. There is a garden and outdoor space too, which are in need of attention and updating.  We hope Cranleigh In Bloom volunteers will be able to help renovate the garden. 

Buildings and plans 

We watch out for building planning permissions and scoping applications every week. 

We note that the A2 Dominion development (on the land that used to grow lettuces) does not have permission to build the industrial looking properties they want to. 

Cranleigh Primary School Infants site has a notice up – Surrey County Council have some funds and want to take down the reception block and put up a new one.  SO/2021/0001 – on Waverley’s planning portal. 

We note that The Bull in Ewhurst is destined to become a working pub again – good news – you’ve probably seen the houses going up in their old grounds.   

We have seen that the land behind Park Hatch could be built on – 6 dwellings – it looks crammed just like the 55 Berkeley homes in Knowle Lane.  Where are the opportunities for nature to continue?  

The Paddock – the triangular field behind the M&S car park – still doesn’t have planning permission for anything and always was designated as a site of visual interest as it stands.  An exception was permitted and planning permission granted when a whole new GP practice and hospital with beds was planned on the field, but this ambition long since disappeared for a variety of reasons.  Cranleigh is not getting a new hospital.  The funds raised by the villagers are not able to be used for such a  project.

We have the rebuilt Cranleigh Medical Practice funded by the NHS and the current hospital services  – thanks to the NHS and League of friends.  There is no intention by the NHS to fund for hospital (step down) beds in Cranleigh even if a building was erected. This has been the case for many years.  They do part fund places in care homes when required, all over the area. Most Care homes have beds attended by nurses and visited by GPs.  

Trees, Hedgerows, Badgers

The work at Run Common continues – the reason Badgers are protected by law is that people killed them is such numbers in the past that they were nearly extinct.  Now no-one is permitted to upset their ability to make a family!  Including Surrey County Council.  There are several trees nearby with white crosses on them, not sure what this means.  We will try to find out if these large, old trees will be felled and if it’s essential.  

There is a new row of Leylandii trees beside the Legion – replacing the row taken down in order to make an entrance for a new Primary School…..  sad the old ones went! 

Health and Well-being

The volunteers helping the NHS roll out the vaccinations are a credit to Cranleigh and villages – we thank them with all our hearts.  Those of us who are now vaccinated are  truly grateful. We have not heard of any serious side effects – bit of a ache on the arm and a need to rest the next day – tired – is all.  So we truly hope no-one is afraid to get the jab – and hope our summer will be better for socialising and feeling much less frightened every day. 

The NHS has many new initiatives, and it is being reconfigured again.  This is to reduce the multiple layers of bureaucracy that stops the funding getting to where is it’s needed. We hope it works well and soon.  We hope too that the individuals find it easier to keep our records straight and up to date, wherever we are treated.  Most people have been praising our practice recently, with just a few exceptions, usually around records not being up to date. 

The NHS have access to Social Prescribing groups and help – where people’s illnesses can be helped by something other than drugs, operations and physiotherapy.  It is exciting to see these initiatives.  You could call it a Good Neighbour scheme but it is so much more as professionals are involved.  The Kings Fund is a non-political body that carries out reports for all to read and use – see here for an explainer about Social Prescribing and see here for their take on community health services.  Link staff are crucial to putting excellent programs into practice.  Cranleigh already has some excellent examples with more expected.  

Cranleigh Primary School latest news – Surrey has stopped its plans for Glebelands school fields

Cranleigh Primary School latest news – Surrey has stopped its plans for Glebelands school fields

Withdrawal of application WA/2018/2044 to relocate Cranleigh Primary School to Glebelands playing fields

Surrey County Council has taken on board the concerns of the Cranleigh Community regarding the relocation of the Cranleigh Primary School and has withdrawn the application!  We take this as a success and hope you do too – thank you to all who spoke up against losing fields, gaining more housing and being appalled at the design of the school entrance.

Glebelands school playing fields are back in use for sport! . Glebelands school playing field, which was due to be built on, has now been reinstated as a U11 football pitch and is being used by the Cranleigh Community.

The main objection to the relocation was that the proposed site had restricted access and inappropriate location.   It was agreed that the present site is the best location for the school and should be retained.  Since the withdrawal of the application, work has been undertaken to repair the roof and renovate the toilet block.

Cranleigh Society looks forward to working with the Council and the school to find the funds to carry out further urgent repairs as soon as possible.

Glebelands school Governors have written to Liz Mills (SCC Education) to ask about strategy for schools in the area.  Meeting with Councillor Iles to discuss education strategy along with the Heads of Glebelands and Cranleigh Primary School is now essential and  Cranleigh Parish Council has a strong voice in protecting the school.

Regarding the removal of the hedge alongside the bowling green, we wonder whether Philip Roche (schools and major capital projects manager) is going to finish his ‘general maintenance work of the site which included pruning, clearing and safety works on the social club site and the public footpath’   The Council denied that the removal of the hedge had anything to do with widening the access to the proposed site yet, since the withdrawal of the application, they have left the access to the playing fields in a real mess and far from making it safe for the children, they have left it in a hazardous state.  We can but keep trying….

best regards



Cranleigh Primary School NEW build on EXISTING site

Cranleigh Primary School NEW build on EXISTING site


Issues to be considered in relation to the alternative proposal of building a new school on the current Middle School site – using, primarily, the plans already developed by Surrey County Council (SCC) for a full new build on a green field elsewhere.

SCC have stated that the existing site is not big enough to accommodate the amalgamation of the 2 existing schools plus the nursery and future 1 Form Entry expansion. (FAQs April 2020).

If it can be shown that this can be achieved on the existing Middle School site while keeping the existing Middle and Infants Schools open the following programme might be adopted which will be considerably cheaper than the refurbishment proposal offered by SCC.

It is assumed that the plans for the new school prepared for the site adjacent to the Social Club incorporate all the requirements stated in Paragraph 1.

The plans would need to be re-orientated to suit the new location but otherwise need not be significantly changed. For the purpose of this exercise the same footprint has been used.

Despite costs associated with the additional 28 weeks this alternative proposal should be considerably cheaper than the 179 weeks suggested for the refurbishment of the existing buildings plus the other necessary extensions and far less disruptive for the children.

If the existing grass playing field next to the Social Club can be used by the Primary School there will be no need for the 3G pitch. Perhaps this money can be redirected towards the construction of the new school?

Obviously the Infants School site can still be sold for housing. If the money coming from central government can be also redirected to building on the existing site there will be a shortfall needing to be addressed as the Middle School site will not now be sold for housing development.

The attached sketch plans indicate how this might hopefully be achieved.

A degree of cut and fill would need to be undertaken on the site to overcome the cross fall.

A topographical survey has been undertaken by SCC of the Middle School site so no additional costs would be involved in this respect.

Has demolition of the existing Middle School buildings been included by SCC in preparation for the site being sold for housing development?

Incoming mains services are likely to be cheaper into the Middle School site than the greater distance between Parsonage Road and the proposed site next to the Social Club.

Basic construction costs for the new school should be similar n either of the sites being considered.

Better, safer access and parking provision can be incorporated along the Parsonage Road frontage making it easier for parents to drop off and collect their children.

Minor redesign of scheme and new TP application 24 weeks

Tender negotiation and placement of contract – 12 weeks

Construction of school and demolition of Horsa blocks  – 52 weeks

Relocation of children and occupation – 2 weeks

Total  90 weeks (an additional 28 weeks over the 62 weeks quoted for the new school new by the Social Club

Demolition of existing school buildings- 12 weeks

Completion of external works- 8 weeks

CofE primary school, Surrey’s business case versus what people want

CofE primary school, Surrey’s business case versus what people want

Cranleigh CofE Primary School 

The news plans WOULD fit onto the current site – but at what cost?

In their presentation recently Surrey County Council (SCC ) showed a strong business case for selling the 2 sites of the school and building a new combined school and nursery on a playing field.  Cranleigh Society has great concerns about this plan.

SCC explained that their professionals compared the costs of the new build, including the sale of the land for housing, with refurbishing the current school, and bringing a new build onto the Junior site for the infants and nursery.  The cost was shown as almost double the plans and no income stream.  So we do understand!


Cranleigh Society has been shown the way that the new, eco-friendly, expanded school plans would fit well onto the current Cranleigh CofE school site.

This desktop exercise was carried out by a retired architect with plenty of experience of working with councils on schools. Living in Cranleigh and walking around all the sites he knows what he is looking at first hand.

It shows that a new build on the existing site would achieve the following –

maintain and improve access to the school and nursery.

Incorporate all the features of the new build eco-friendly plans – Infants, Juniors, extra classes, nursery and SEND unit, and a pond.

It suggests using the playing fields as playing fields rather than building on both sites. Any improvements to the fields’ drainage necessary should be done.

Financially it would require funds that we are very aware SCC has not allocated for education in Cranleigh.  Is this really acceptable?

Having declared a climate emergency SCC should not be allowing green fields and trees to be destroyed as a matter of overarching policy – same for all building projects going forwards.

We know too that the new housing on the 2 school sites is in Waverley’s Local Plan and therefore has to be in Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood plan – this does not make it right.

Access to the new build on the playing fields would be difficult for all, cycles, scooters, cars and pedestrians, and the site is out of sight, tucked away from view, and would be a haven for unwanted behaviour around its perimeter.  See our picture…

In addition the increased people, cars and therefore pollution caused by building on both sites is unwanted by Cranleigh people.

Rowland Road and Parsonage Road are narrow, and the path from the corner where they join and bend around, and where all school traffic and pedestrians would have to go is more narrow and cannot be widened.

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW as we depend on your feedback – we are representing you as best we can.

We want a fair and speedy result here – and so does the school and nursery.

thank you



Renovate and rebuild e-petition news Cranleigh CofE Primary School

Renovate and rebuild e-petition news Cranleigh CofE Primary School

Result of E-petition to renovate and rebuild Cranleigh Primary School on its present site

Result of E-petition to renovate and rebuild Cranleigh Primary School on its present site

As a result of attaining over 200 signatures, Cranleigh Civic Society was able to present its case to Surrey County Council’s (SCC) meeting lead by Cabinet Member for all age learning Cllr Julie Iles (see here )on 9thJune 2020 – to renovate and rebuild Cranleigh Primary School on its present site, rather than sell the land for housing and rebuild the school on fields to the west of the Social Club behind the houses on the Common. 

The Cabinet Office presented its case for the current proposal to relocate to the Glebelands playing fields.  

However, in recognition of the arguments relating to the restricted access, non-availability of parking, building size and design, location and safety issues from representations by stakeholders, local councillors, residents and representatives of the Diocese and the governing body and the headteacher, it was evident that many local people were opposed to this new build project, much preferring that the school remains on its current site with refurbishment/extension.   

Cllr Julie Iles therefore proposed that Surrey County Council write to the Dept. of Education asking if the identified Priority School Building Programme 2 (PSBP2)  funding can be allocated to a refurbishment on the Junior School site, something that the local MP, Angela Richardson will be taking a keen interest in.

When this outcome is known, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Office can review further and point that consequently any indication of when essential repairs or refurbishment/extension might be carried out to the existing buildings can not be given yet.

 A recording of the full meeting can be heard on the Surrey County Council webcast here  item “Cabinet Member for All-Age Learning Decisions Tuesday 9th June” n.b. there was another item on the agenda – go to petition in video. 

 We feel that this is a very positive move forward for the Cranleigh Community and would like to thank all those who have contributed to this outcome. However this is just the initial step in getting to the community’s preferred outcome and we must maintain both dialogue with and pressure on SCC to see this through.

Renovate and rebuild e-petition news Cranleigh CofE Primary School

Society Update – Cranleigh Primary School concerns continue

All of Our Cranleigh Primary School’s future concerns continue

We are still beavering away as best we can –  after all the letters and emails sent to various people we asked you all to – thank you!  we have received the Officers’ responses and are examining all minutely for gaps in logic and care.

We feel under threat

We feel that Cranleigh is under threat from Surrey County council because they are willing and able to proceed with building a new school on their green fields – but they DO NEED to get planning permission from Waverley Borough Council to build around 90 & 17 dwellings on the old sites in order to part fund the new school and nursery.

They consulted with the right people?

There were invitations to various meetings and on line papers over the years – the issue is that everyone was lead to believe there was actually no choice – to get a new school and nursery we have to have all that new housing – they have done their figures – others have too and just don’t agree. It is clear that a new school could have been built in the grounds of the old one when the 2 sites first joined together!

They are sure they can persuade nearly all the children to walk to school

By creating a very congested set of roads the future is that we will all just walk and cycle – right? Little consideration then for those who have to deliver and collect from more that school or nursery every day, those who live further than 2 miles away – yes those are all meant to walk like our grandparents did – and those who depend on Grandparents and carers who come from far away.  A greener future can’t be created this way…..

Traffic and Safety issues

We know that all Primary school suffer with traffic issues, especially in September with the new intakes!  This scheme however does beggar belief!  Parsonage Road is where people have always parked, including the school buses – now add the cars and vans of those living in the new housing – and the increase in cycling – all to access a tucked away building behind housing on the Common – all of whom will be impacted by the noise and any anti-social behaviour too.

We are trying

Cranleigh Society representatives and councillors have been asked to attend a meeting – on line- soon and hope to represent your views so do write in and let us know details of your feelings – especially if you can “consult” with future parents of the schools and nursery.



We are so sorry to see so many people are having terrible trouble with fresh water supply – we suspect things can only get worse with this long – but beautiful! – drought.  Let’s find ways to clean and water thoughtfully – in the meantime Thames Water really do need to step up and tell us what is happening.

Tummy Bugs

Several people have had inexplicable tummy bugs very recently – from 48 hours to 3 or 4 days.  Could be water connected?  keep in touch